Seems like everyone wants a Light-Weight rifle. (Something like a 5lb 300 Mag. or perhaps a 338 of some sort, with the barrel chopped to 16.5".)
Rather than talk about how light a rifle "could" be, and assuming that the lighter the betterER, what about the issues involved with how HEAVY, it "should" or should not, be?
Obviously, there are plenty of heavies out there. (Full size, some even with 26" barrels.
How heavy is too heavy? The answer may depend somewhat on how, how much, and where, you PACK it. Surely, when it comes to SHOOTING, light weight is of less importance. If all you do is carry it, to and from your tree stand, you might not have time to notice the weight.
If you're climbing up a mountain, or stomping through the swamps and alders/willows, bending and turning around over and under, and attempting to get your rifle through, without damage it's a different story.
My heaviest rifle, a 7mm WM, weighs 10 lbs. with scope, Sling and 3 in the magazine. No doubt, that is way too much for most of you, but hear me out. (Your rifle probably weighs more than you think it does.) It didn't seem to be heavy, until I weighed it on a Food Scale. I've used it more than any other rifle in later years, and it hasn't been a problem, but then, I haven't used it the same way, use a much lighter rifle, in olden days.
I'm sayin IMO, such as it is, that this is bout max, and if I hadda 375 H&H, I'd might want even more weight. I read something long ago about the beeg banger, and the writer said, IIRC, they might, should be 12lbs or more.
It's hard to pin down what the average successful rifle weight choice is, given that the manufacturer weights given, are for a particular factory rifle, and without scope, rings, sling and ammo in the magazine. There is considerable variance.
So, would you carry a 12 lb. 458, or 416? Even with your wheeler for a gun bearer?
Could you respond to a fast bear, fast enough to get him down before he gets you down if your rifle weighed that much?
How much do the those Sniper rifles, weigh all set up? And, are they too heavy to be practical for normal shooting, or just for long range?
Again, I'll go with 10 lbs. because that's been my experience. I've not really tried more weight, but I'm sure a little more wouldn't be a tragedy.
Smitty of the North